Female daters reluctant to swap virtual back to reality

Thursday, March 04th, 2021

New research reveals a strong female dater desire to keep post-lockdown dates virtual, whilst men are eager to get back to old ways

New, independent research exploring likely, future dating habits, and what a post-pandemic dating scene could look like, has revealed that women are 88% more likely than men to continue to favour virtual dates, video calls and online chatting on dating websites, instead of meeting in person, for a good while yet.

A majority 54% of all women surveyed in the global study – released in February – showed a strong preference towards dating from a distance – rather than face-to-face, in person – pointing to understandable caution about stepping straight back into real life meets, even with the vaccination process rolling well.

The report backs up common opinion that virtual dating – using tech such as Zoom, Facetime, Teams, Google Hangouts and even AnimalCrossing – are set to stay around for much longer than some generations of dater give them credit for or even hope.

‘Qualifying’ a first date through a screen, while it lacks the physical signals of chemistry and rapport, is now ingrained as a way to unearth relationships worth progressing and come with fewer barriers in terms of cost, effort, preparation or time that are typically associated with meeting in real life.

Singletons are also suggesting they can get through a large number of ‘first dates’ virtually, often doing multiple intros a night in a flurry of online dating activity, in the hope of lining up someone to meet further down the line. One thing the pandemic has brought is a slower form of dating which takes the urgency and immediacy out of having to commit to a face-to-face date quicker than some would like or are comfortable with.

With singletons taking tentative steps out of lockdown; online daters, especially those eager to get back out there, should well consider the motivations and will of others when messaging about future meetups, first dates and encouraging daters to take their conversations offline.

It’s also fair reason to keep messaging within the confines of dating platforms – such as Muddy Matches – where comfort and reassurance can be taken from the moderation that goes and the processes in place to maintain member wellbeing and safety. There is a close eye on manners, courtesy and above all, decency.

But, of course, with a roadmap to a life more normal now in place, the desire for offline dates, and meeting in person, is starting to ramp up.

Men are more likely to propose an offline date with over 60% suggesting that it is their immediate intention to return to their pre-COVID ways as fast as possible. However, that is unlikely to find favour with the majority of female singletons still showing caution and concern about stepping back into old dating haunts and habits.